Monday, February 7, 2011

Castle - "Lucky Stiff"

"Lucky Stiff" is the first new episode of Castle since we had the kiss in "Knockdown." The kiss clearly had some kind of impact on Castle, so going into "Lucky Stiff" I was most curious to see how the dynamic between Castle and Beckett was going to play out.

It's interesting. For the most part, they're clearly choosing to ignore the kiss. But, something has shifted. It's subtle, which makes me wonder whether it's Nathan Fillion bringing his own bit of character development to the episode, or whther it's something that was scripted.

Once again Castle and Beckett go undercover together and it's used as an excuse to test their boundaries. This time they're posing as a rich young couple on the party scene and hoping to find a high-end drug dealer called Oz. Beckett pours herself into a teeny black dress and as soon as they step into the club she's in character, dancing up against Castle. And Castle looks as though his head might explode when she leans all the way in to whisper in his ear... "Get us some drinks and keep your eyes peeled for Oz, ok?"

And I absolutely loved the fact that as soon as Beckett turned away, Castle could not stop himself from just gazing at her ass in that dress.

And my first thought was that Castle is totally and completely gone on her. He's in love and he knows it. He just about admitted as much in "Knockdown" when he told his mother it wasn't about the research anymore.

Whereas with Beckett, it feels much more like she's still testing herself. I think she really enjoys these moments where she has an excuse to get close, but she also still needs the distance. She likes that she can still pull back and hide in the status quo.

She sends Castle off to get drinks, then spots the drug dealer and heads over to flirt with him (very convincingly, I might add). When the drug dealer asks her if Castle, returning with drinks, is her boyfriend, her answer is, "for now." And again, she had a speculative tone in her voice. Considering it, maybe, but intellectually still, not emotionallly.

And the B-plot this week was all about windfalls. What would you do if you won the lottery, or received a large inheritance. Esposito wants a Ferrari. The captain wants a boat. Ryan wants to buy a winery (for which Esposito teases him mercilessly later on). Castle already has a Ferrari (which Beckett gets to drive) and some real estate on the moon.

Beckett will not admit that there's anything she would buy, so Castle spends the whole episode trying to wheedle it out of her. In the end, he figures out that she would do something to honour her mother's memory (And I hate to say it, but really, the rest of us figured that out half an hour earlier, the first time Beckett used the word 'legacy' when counselling Martha on what she should do with the inheritance that Chet left her.)

So Castle gets in touch with the law school that Johanna Beckett attended and arranges the creation of a scholarship in her honour. He also offers to throw a fundraiser to raise the money for the scholarship. The episode ends with Beckett's observation that, "You just can't stay out of my personal life, can you?" and Castle excitedly planning the fundraiser, the very picture of a man completely smitten.

Even the way that Castle barges right into her apartment without waiting for an invitation speaks to how much he feels that he belongs there.

It's nice to feel like they're making progress, even if it is minute. I certainly don't think it's going to lead to anything spectacular anytime soon.

And there is still Beckett's boyfriend to consider, who will, I assume, come back from his very convenient trip to Africa at some point. Probably at some point that is incredibly inconvenient for Castle.

Moving on, just a few other fun bits from the episode.

I love that Lanie and Esposito lay bets on what Beckett will or won't notice at a crime scene, in this case that the gun present at the scene did not cause the wound in the body.

And Ryan finally broke the news to Esposito that everyone knows about him and Lanie.
Ryan: "Come on, dude, we all know about the two of you."
Esposito: *laughs* *pause* "Castle and Beckett know, too?"
Martha's shopping expedition was delightful.
Castle: "Is it safe to say there is not an animal print left in any store in New York City?"
Martha: "Very funny. Probably true."
But then, Martha is delightful in general.

Castle's whole conversation about how the only luxury he really cares about is freedom and being able to live life on his own terms... all of that was very Mal Reynolds. Not a Firefly reference since it is intrinsic to the character of Castle, but still. Reminiscent.

And Castle's little rap when the cops arrive to arrest the two thugs/rappers from Florida:
"Three armed cops and a writer makes four. You're under arrest, so get on the floor."
Hokey, but hilarious.

When Castle arrived at Beckett's house at the end of the episode, she was playing the guitar and singing. Have we seen her do this before? It's nice to see she has some outlets other than just hot baths and Castle's books. And is it possible she was singing Castle's rap from earlier? I missed the beginning, but the end sounded like "get on the floor."

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